Tonight I’m literally bouncing off the walls because I’ve finally successfully accomplished something that has been on my bucket list for a long long time.
I can tread water comfortably, jump into the deep end of the pool and swim 25m across the pool without stopping!!
My name is Karen Sze, I’m 38 years old, a Pisces and was afraid of swimming! Who would’ve thunk.
Yes I know, how could I have procrastinated for so long. Seriously!!?! Especially when I love sea life, snorkeling and scuba diving.
When I was young, I got my Orange badge, which is like level 2 out of 10 levels. However, I always struggled with swimming. I’d flinch because a little water splashed onto my face. I could never get the breathing right for the front crawl.
Since then I always wore a life jacket when snorkeling or just sat on the side when people are having fun swimming in a body of water.
5 years ago, I bucked up and signed up for an adult swim class at my local community centre. During the 3rd class, I almost drowned. I totally got spooked and thought of dropped the class. However, I really wanted to get ready for my scuba diving lessons at the Great Barrier Reefs in early 2009.
Since then I’ve been pushing myself every now and then to get more comfortable swimming. However, it took me over 3 years to use up the 20 punch card at the pool. How friggin ridiculous!
I always found an excuse; the water is too cold, I’m tired, I’m not feeling well, I’d rather go to yoga… etc.
This October after my 8 month trip, I walked by the community centre. I don’t know why but I wandered in and asked if they have a class starting soon. It happens that they have one spot left for the class starting the following evening. I gave them my credit card and walked out in a bit of a daze.
On the first night there was only 5 of us. I’m not the youngest and definitely not the most scared of water. There were 2 who essentially clung to the wall even tho the water was only waist deep.
I knew this will be an interesting 9 weeks. Within 4 classes, one of the guys walked out in the middle of class. Afterwards I told him to just keep trying, don’t give up on himself. I explained that this is my second time around.
While I got the lessons on Thursday nights, I would try to go at least once during the week and swim with the flutter board during the day. I knew I have to build strength, endurance and reduce the fear.
I also figured out that I have probably drowned in my past lives to have such a subconscious impact towards swimming this life time. Surprisingly when I made that connection, the next time I swam in the pool I felt less stressful.
Finally, I also became more kind to myself. I stopped being so tough on myself and remembered to come back to the present moment. Not to think of the times when I drowned. Not to think negatively. Not to label myself as afraid of watet,. Not to say I cannot swim.
I mean if I cannot be compassionate to myself, if I do not practice self love. Who will?
I am the one person who is constantly by my side at all time. I am the best support for my own self. I am the one that needs to have faith in myself on everything I do.
Sure there’s always family and friends who loves me and cares for me. However, I’ve come to realize that it means 1000 times more when I believe in myself.
Today I know I can swim! XO